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Have you hit the “glass ceiling” so many times, it feels as if the top of your head is flat? Has your journey through the executive ranks seem to have stalled out? Are your dedication and hard work going unrewarded? Are you feeling underappreciated or misunderstood in the workplace? If so…welcome to The Club!

“This is THE place, where like-minded, executive-minded, forward-thinking women come to communicate—collaborate—and celebrate everything that it means to be a career-focused woman in a male-dominated work environment. This isn’t about ‘us vs. them.’ This is about us making a name for ourselves—taking a seat, and truly owning that seat, at the executive table—and doing so not as ‘clones’ of men, but as authentic, self-confident, self-empowered women.”

Amanda Blesing

2 x Author; Women’s C-Suite Mentor & Executive Coach; Founder: The She-Suite™ Club

Where empowered women empower other women. Because when women win, everyone wins.

Is Neural Inhibition Undermining Your Career and Earning Potential

Recently I learned about the term neural inhibition as it pertains to bone density and strength.

Basically your brain limits how strong it thinks you should be based on signals it’s getting from your bone, to potentially help you avoid injury. 

I know right?!?

According to the experts in bone density “our muscles gradually become weaker because of a self-protecting process called neural inhibition i.e. our central nervous system limits muscular power to protect the skeletal system which is in gradual decline after the age of 30.”

30!!!

But only if you let it.

MY NEURAL INHIBITION CHIN UP CHALLENGE

Fact: I could never do chin-ups in my 30s. To be honest, I never really tried.

But now I can pop them out as a party trick. 

Some years ago I gave myself a goal of 10 chins ups.

No real reason other than my (then) 75yo athletic friend challenged me to 10 because she could still do 10. And I love a good challenge.

But, I’ve hit a plateau at nine and I’ve been there for four long, grinding, frustrating months.

Every time I go to bust through I get a minor injury, or a cold, or I have to travel for work and miss my training, or … I simply run out of puff just as I get to nine yet again.

The concept of neural inhibition is quite obvious especially when you hit plateaus in your gym training.

But, I’m happy to say I’m working on it with my coach to overcome and I know I will prevail eventually with the right focus and approach – and to be honest, the win will feel bigger because of the mental hurdles I’m jumping through to break through.

WHERE ELSE DOES NEURAL INHIBITION HOLD WOMEN BACK?

It got me thinking.

Where else in life might we have neural inhibition? And lo and behold, it’s everywhere!

Here are two other areas neural inhibition might be getting in your way in your career and leadership.

  1. Next level promotions – Neural inhibition can be seen in the form of self-doubt and imposter syndrome, where you might limit your career progression due to an ingrained belief that you are not quite good enough or not quite as deserving of a promotion as others.

  2. Earning potential – neural inhibition can be seen in hitting up against salary plateaus for salaried employees, or revenue plateaus for consultants. I’ve seen this over and over again where someone starts sabotaging themselves and what’s possible when they hit up against this earning potential inhibition. I’ll never forget the senior level client who was in the running for a role that earned $100K more than she was currently on, and she almost talked herself out of continuing in a recruitment process because she thought that in order to be worthy of that much bigger salary she might have to work twice as hard. In fact, once she landed the role she was gobsmacked to find out that the expectations were significantly less than she had previously. Amazing.

HOW TO GET AROUND NEURAL INHIBITIONS?

Just like with my chin-ups being stuck at nine (for the time being), any of our neural inhibitions can be neutralised with a bit of focus and normalising your new reality in advance. 



For me, busting through nine chin-ups has got me working in sets of more than 10, but at a lighter weight – simply getting used to doing more than 10 in any one go, and getting my brain used to going past nine on a regular basis.

BUT WHAT ABOUT FOR YOUR CAREER?

Maybe it’s a salary level block and anything above that and you feel you might need to work too hard, or “sell your soul to the devil”. Identify that as an inhibition, then start practicing asking out loud for the bigger salary well before you are ready. Normalise the new level. Normalise your approach and ask at that new level.

For my consultant clients who launch their business with the goal of replacing their previous salary, start envisaging a possibility where you more than double or even triple your salary without exhausting yourself in the process. It’s possible. My clients do it all the time. You just have to get your brain used to this new possible reality.

If you’ve got a neural inhibition about a level of seniority – start normalising what it might be like at this new level of you. Get used to it in your own mind, ask for acting opportunities where you get to practice for a time, volunteer for secondments where you get to step up into new and bigger responsibilities, ask to sit in on senior level meetings, or even to shadow a senior level executive for a day.

The key is to normalise the stretch and practice in a safe environment until it becomes your new reality so that the neural inhibition has far less power.

YOUR THOUGHTS? Would love to hear – drop me a note and let me know. Do you have a neural inhibition? If yes, what are you going to do about it?

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In the past I’ve shared how some of my female clients doubled or even tripled their salary, to give you ideas on how to be creative with your efforts to win pay rises, promotions and to be recognised as you truly deserve. This week I want to celebrate an amazing woman who thought outside the square when it came to creative career moves.
Eliminating the glass ceiling has proven to be incredibly challenging. Despite hard work by many it remains a persistent barrier for women, business and society. Instead, gender inequity is more of a complex societal and systemic issue that will require a systemic approach with joined up thinking and a multi-faceted approach - and programs that support women are only one small part of the puzzle.

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What My Incredible Clients Have to Say…

Thank you so much Amanda. You have brought out the best of me and put it on a page.

Amanda helped me build my digital brand with a strategic approach that’s aligned to my long-term career goals. I learned to add value and richness to my network and customers, and I have a visibility strategy that is above the line and future-focused!

It’s a blast working with Amanda – I can feel the momentum growing – now a matter of me putting my foot on the pedal to get myself out there in full confidence!

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11 Point Executive Career Toolkit Checklist

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to put your best foot forward in your career, every time.

11 Point Executive Career
Toolkit Checklist

To ensure you are never caught out, and are perfectly positioned to put your best foot forward in your career, every time.

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